Monday, May 18, 2015

My Election Picks: Who Gets My Kiss of Death?

Below are my picks for candidates I consider best suited to the job. Who wins is a different matter. I am often reminded of my fallibility after elections, and this year will be no exception. I'm no Buddy Christ. I just think I am.

You can read more about some of these races in my campaign pages, on the left sidebar, and at the Lehigh Valley League of Women Voters. .

Northampton County Council District Three

John Cusick (R candidate)

Mickey Thompson (R candidate)

Though Cusick has County experience, Thompson's knowledge of nursing homes could prove invaluable in turning Gracedale around. Cusick and Executive John Brown, whose leadership has been a disaster, were overheard disparaging Thompson. That's why I would recommend Mickey over John.

Northampton County Council District Four

Lorin Bradley (Republican)

Matthew Dietz (Republican)

Bradley;'s specialty is human relations, an area in which Executive John Brown has failed miserably. So despite his ridiculous support for a public paid public relations consultant, I believe he could help turn around poor morale. I also admire his transparency. Dietz impressed me as well, despite his appearance on tea party radio.But it's hardto dispute Bradley's impressive credentials.

Northampton County Judge

Abe Kassis

Sam Murray

Vic Scomillio

Sam Murray has the most experience of the three, has served as a Master and a Juvenile Hearing Officer for the courts, and is the only man in recent history I know to march a little known Little League team from Bethlehem right into the World Series. I think Abe tried too hard, and as a result became deceptive in his mailers and with his support base. Scomillio has been tainted by his association with Executive John Brown, and i especially don't like the idea that he fured someone just before Christmas, while driving somewhere.

Bethlehem City Council four year seats (three)

Mike Recchiuti (i)

Willie Reynolds (i)

Michael Colon

Shawn Martell

Bethlehem City Council two year seat (one)

Jeff Kocsis (two year)

Matt McKernan  (two year)

Olga Negron (two year)

While I think there should be term limits on Bethlehem City Council seats to keep developers from pouring money down their throats, I believe Reynolds and Recchuiti have been effective on Council, and have worked with Mayor Bob Donchez. Martell impressed me just a little more than Colon. For the two year seat, I had a very difficult time between Kocsis and McKernan. I went with Kocsis only because I've heard that McKernan intends to run again in two years if he loses. He should. I even ended up being favorably impressed by Negron's refusal to take money from developers, but not by her ties to Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski.

1st Ward

✓Tom Nolan, an engineer at Lehigh Heavy Forge, is a voice of reason in an often unreasonable Board. Yet he has two Republican opponents. One of them is former Commissioner Art Murphy, who works for Selvaggio and Son. The other, Wayne Buller, is definitely a tea party and RAT favorite. Regulars like Ben Hedrick, Andy Azan and Melissa Miller (significant other of NorCo Council member Seth Vaughn) are behind this campaign. At a debate, Murphy slammed Housenick Park Committee, and often spoke out against funding the library.

3rd Ward

✓ Phil Barnard, Manager at Bay Insulation, has been another moderating influence on the Board. Well-spoken and thoughtful, he really listens to residents and tries very hard to be transparent. He's precisely the kind of guy who Republicans should be embracing and grooming for higher office. I could see him as County Executive or in the State Senate.

Phil two opponents, Republican Fran Blatz and Democrat Kim Jenkins. Blatz, whom I believe to be the tea-party candidate, is listed as the Pro-life leader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Jenkins is the Secretary of the Bethlehem Township Athletic Association, which Barnard has steadfastly supported during his four years as a Commissioner. .

Phil deserves re-election.

At Large

✓ Incumbent Marty Zawarski is being challenged by two former Republican. They include Paul Weiss and the tea party sponsored candidate, Bob Birk.

To his credit, Zawarski is running hard. That, or unopposed, is the only way to go. Weiss, a good man, is running out of bitterness and not for the right reasons. Birk, whose ethics statement lists his occupation as "unemployed" and has posted yard signs calling the office "comissioner," would make the Township Board a laughing stock.

Zawarski is clearly the best choice among the three Republicans.

Lehigh County Commissioner. - On the R side, the only two candidates worthy of any support are ✓ Dean Browning and ✓Vic Mazziotti. Though they despise each other, they both have commanding knowledge of public finance and both are men of conscience. They'd do better working with each other than against each other. The other candidates include a Commissioner with no backbone (Brad Osborne), a home-schooled music teacher who lives with her mommy and daddy (Amanda Holt) and an arrogant bicyclist who wears bug suits (Marty Nothstein).

There are also four Democrats who are unopposed in their primary.

Whitehall Mayor. - If you believe in democracy, ✓ Ed Hozza, Jr. should be your choice. If you believe in an urban growth regime in which only the monied are heard and are willing to cede over control to Allentown, just write in Pawlowski. Or megalomaniac. Same thing.

Bethlehem Township Mini-Judge. - Three Assistant DAs are seeking the seat being vacated by Magisterial District Judge Joe Barner. Though all three are well-suited, my first choice is ✓ Pat Broscius. As an Assistant District Attorney, she was a powerful voice for children who are sadly neglected and abused, often in the most horrendous ways. It is easy for a person who sees those tragedies every day become bitter, but that never happened to Pat. Like Magisterial District Judge Jackie Taschner one said to me when she was still a DA, "I'm a prosecutor, not a persecutor." It is very possible that Sandy McClure will prevail on the Democratic side. Bill Blake is another very capable person.

Hellertown-Lower Saucon Mini-Judge. - I expect to see ✓ David Tidd easily re-elected on both sides of the ballot. He is simply the best candidate. Repyneck ran an ugly campaign, and made too many wild and reckless allegations to be taken seriously. Amanda Kurecian acted with honor and should be commended.

Bethlehem Mini-Judge. - ✓ Roy Manwaring has spent next to no money for re-election, and most of it comes from his own pocket. Her deserves another term. I never really understood why paul Bender challenged him.

Supreme Court. - My two top picks are Democrat ✓Kevin Dougherty and Republican ✓Corry Stevens.

Superior Court. - Lehigh Valley favorite son ✓ Emil Giordano.

Commonwealth Court. - Coalcracker ✓ Todd Eagen.


Anonymous said...

John Callahan county executive(not) agrees with Bernie's predictions.

All except cra-cra Mazziotti. So his nutty tea party gang of four actions are excused because he worked for your mancrush, Stoffa? Now you know why no takes your predictions seriously.

Anonymous said...

and an arrogant bicyclist who wears bug suits (Marty Nothstein).

Whew. Thought you were referring to B.O.H.

Anonymous said...

Dean Browning seems to be blamed for that huge property tax assessment in Lehigh County. If he can prove he is not responsible for the heartache this has cost families across the county, he might have a chance. But, at the moment, more folks still think he is.

Anonymous said...


He is responsible. That's why he's gone so negative with ridiculous lies about the others.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Mazziotti the financial guru who was John Stoffa's Key man? He was in charge of the finances in Northampton County when the "swaption" went from several million to 26 million. Where was he and his advice while the County pissed away more than 20 million dollars. That is $20,000,000.00. He is a right wing nut job that didn't want to recieve "federal money" in Lehigh County and is not deserving of re-election. No whacko nut job should be handling my tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Oh and by the way, if they is the best Candidate for the job then we in Lehigh County are in real trouble.

Kevin Cerino said...

Wasn't one of the Sticker Gang kids running for Nazareth Borough Council?

Bernie O'Hare said...

As Independents, there will be two candidates.

Anonymous said...

It is time to get rid of the "Tea Party Radicals" that are infesting our government. Mazziotti is one of them. No respectable "D" should even consider this guy for a vote and no respectable "R" should ever vote for these looney tunes. Give me some middle of the roaders that will weigh the consequences of their decisions and they get my vote. You aren't serious about Mazziotti? This is some kind of a sick joke. Right?

Anonymous said...

I agree in principle with 903am. Mazziotti had my respect until he tied his wagon to Scott Ott and Wayne Woodman.

In my opinion he did major damage to his credibility.


The Banker

Anonymous said...

Hopefully You prediction is correct in Whitehall.Hard to imagine Abe Atiyeh running a Township Government

Anonymous said...

Dean Browning WAS NOT EVEN a Lehigh County Commissioner when the huge property tax assessment went in Lehigh County. HE WAS OUT OF OFFICE Then. You have Brad Osborne, Vic Mazzotti, Lisa Scheller, and Scott Ott and the Rest of the L/C Commissioners who are in NOW for YOUR Property Tax Assessment. Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham DID NOT Want the Assessment to Go Through and the 9 Commissioners Voted It In and PUSHED IT THROUGH. You Have THEM to THANK ... BROWNING Had NOTHING to DO WITH IT and WAS NOT EVEN in OFFICE. And ALSO the Commissioners TAXES Went DOWN when the Assessment went through.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem Township "Commissioner At Large":
John Glagola, Democrat, is running as a write in candidate!! Please get out and vote on Tuesday and give John a chance to represent the residents of Bethlehem Township.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:03 you are correct. He self-proclaimed himself as saving the county millions yet there is only this blog that claims that, council never found the savings. he did help make one of the biggest mistakes in the county by losing $20,000,000.

He then to his skill to Lehigh County and pushed for a reassessment for his McMansion pals that resulted in huge tax increases.

He is not just a nut but a fiscally irresponsible nut.

Anonymous said...

Dean Browning voted for the Democratic 16% tax increase. Any questions?

Anonymous said...

12:15 -

Browning supported reassessment every step of the way when he was commissioner. That was when all the work was done to review each property, along with drive-bys and fly-overs. The final vote to apply it didn't occur until after Browning left office, but he never said a peep against it.

And he was right to support it, since it hadn't been done in over 20 years and only about 20% of the properties were properly valued.

Once out of office, Opportunist Dean Browning has tried to use it in campaigns to smear the people who voted to complete Browning's work toward reassessment. That deserves a trophy in sleaze.

Of course, Browning never mentions his role in reassessment, or what he'd do to correct it if he's so against it. After all, that might have political consequences from the 60% of people who saw their taxes go down.

Anonymous said...

Banker (and 9:03)

Mazziotti and those "radicals" have delivered two tax cuts, one tax rebate, and no services have been cut.

Paying less with no decrease in service. Isn't that something we can all unite behind?

BTW, it wasn't Mazziotti who got Northampton into the swaption, it was Mazziotti who had to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

So I get two phone calls in short succession from an outfit my caller ID says is "Fleck Consulting".

Form Voice Mail, the first is a recording from Pawlowski about getting out to vote. The second was another recording from some dame bad-mouthing the Republican county ticket and then listing 4 names (no party) who happen to be the unopposed Democratic ticket.

Looks like the Dems are flush with cash and are already bad-mouthing Republicans that they're not even running against yet.

Weird Al said...

thank you for your guidance, now I KNOW who NOT to vote for

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Dean Browning WAS NOT EVEN a Lehigh County Commissioner when the huge property tax assessment went in Lehigh County. HE WAS OUT OF OFFICE Then. You have Brad Osborne, Vic Mazzotti, Lisa Scheller, and Scott Ott and the Rest of the L/C Commissioners who are in NOW for YOUR Property Tax Assessment. Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham DID NOT Want the Assessment to Go Through and the 9 Commissioners Voted It In and PUSHED IT THROUGH. You Have THEM to THANK ... BROWNING Had NOTHING to DO WITH IT and WAS NOT EVEN in OFFICE. And ALSO the Commissioners TAXES Went DOWN when the Assessment went through.

12:15 PM


Anonymous said...

additionally, Browning taxes on his house went DOWN!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why penalize McKernan for rumors that he would run again? Koscis has little life experience and even less professional experience or education to justify running. McKernan is a successful small business owner with far more experience.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I penalize him simply bc i want him to run again and will support him. I think he can take the sting of defeat just a little better. I like them all.

Anonymous said...

MvKernan will win. he is the Callahan Clan selection and they now control city council.

Martel, McKernan. Race is over before the votes are cast.

Anonymous said...

Anon 335 I wish Bernie was right and Callahan was the county executive. We wouldn't have "not ready for primetime Brown" to deal with. He has set the county back 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I was told at the polling place that I had to be affiliated in order to vote today. I thought I would be able to vote for judges.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You were mistaken. This is whay it pays to belong to a major party and think like an independent.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Some people are the smartest people they know. McKernan in Callahan pocket? Stop smoking your breakfast.

Anonymous said...

I think your a strange man. Matt is a much needed asset to Bethlehem now. Not two years from now.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am a strange man, and Matt is a "needed asset," but not indispensable. He will have an opportunity to run again in two years. He said that is what he would do. I do not think the others could recover from the sting of defeat as easily as he.